Archive for Freedom of Religion

Murfreesboro Mosque Saga May be Finally Coming to an End

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on April 5, 2012 by loonwatch

A lot has happened since the Murfreesboro mosque first became a point of controversy for bigots and hatemongers. We hope to do a a feature piece summarizing the drama that played out over it, what it means for freedom of religion and the future in an upcoming article:

Attorneys ask judge to throw out legal challenge to Murfreesboro Islamic Center

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — The final legal hurdle over construction of a mosque in Murfreesboro may be over.

County attorneys asked a judge to throw out the final legal challenge on Wednesday. Opponents have argued the county failed to give sufficient public notice before approving the project.

The judge will review the motion on April 19. County officials are hoping he will toss out a lawsuit that claims they did not give proper notice when approving building plans for the new Islamic Center of Murfreesboro.  Mosque opponents say they are readying a response.

Meanwhile, major progress has been made in construction of the center.  Distinctive arches have taken shape, the frame of the building is complete and workers are starting to put bricks around it.

“We are so excited,” said Imam Ossama Bahloul.  “I think when we have the new facility it will be a time for us to celebrate freedom of religion.”

Asra Nomani: Government Should Tell Muslims How to Worship

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on July 18, 2011 by loonwatch

Freedom of worship is one of our most invaluable rights. It means that I have the complete freedom and the human right to worship God the way I see fit or to not worship, provided that I uphold the standards of civil law. Thomas Jefferson so eloquently wrote:

That no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burdened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in nowise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.

[The Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom]

This human right is the cornerstone of our democracy. It keeps the political conversation rational, among other things, and prevents our nation from degenerating further into partisan religious delinquency. So, naturally, I am dismayed when I see this most basic and cherished freedom become a casualty in our national discourse on Islam and Muslims.

Observe Asra Nomani, whom we’ve criticized before for supporting racial profiling, in her latest draconian suggestion; if mosques do not bow to the demands of her ideology, they should be denied tax exempt status (i.e. forced to shutdown from crippling taxes). How did she arrive at such a conclusion?

Nomani says she is fighting Gender Apartheid:

Our goal was to walk through the front double doors designated for “brothers” and pray in the forbidden space of the opulent musallah, or main hall, of the mosque.

She paints herself as a freedom fighter, a successor to Martin Luther King Jr. But the question is: why do Muslim men and women pray in separate spaces? Is it sexism?

Until a point in time when we live in a “genderless” society (maybe something Asra advocates?), men and women are generally considered distinguished entities and traditional religions tend to take this into account. In the case of the majority of Muslims, men and women pray in separate places for the five congregational prayers because the Quran says:

Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them… And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof… (24:30-31)

Pious Muslims are not supposed to gawk with lust at members of the other sex. This applies in daily life and even more so in the ritual prayer in which concentration and focus should be directed towards God and not the opposite sex. Separating men and women in the Muslim prayer is therefore considered a matter of modesty; not that women are inferior or have less rights. Thus, separate prayer halls in themselves are not an indication that women are being mistreated or denied access to the mosque.

But perhaps the issue is that women have a less nice area to pray in or are being denied access to the mosque altogether. On this issue Nomani has a point, and she produces some statistics and studies, although mired by her sweeping generalizations:

In a 2005 publication, “Women Friendly Mosques and Community Centers,” written by two American-Muslim groups — the Islamic Social Services Associations and Women In Islam — the authors confirmed that “many mosques relegate women to small, dingy, secluded, airless and segregated quarters with their children,” some mosques “actually prevent women from entering,”…

It is true that some mosques have less than adequate facilities to accommodate female worshippers, but is it always a case of sexism? If you haven’t noticed, opening or expanding a mosque is not the easiest thing to do in America right now. There are other factors involved other than an alleged omnipresent sexism dominating the Muslim community. Some of these mosques do not have the funding to give women a bigger space; and perhaps, it may be the conservative culture of a particular mosque for women to normally pray at home with their children, usually coming to the mosque only on special occasions, and thus a bigger space is unnecessary.

Nomani could draw from Islamic tradition to support her legitimate goal of helping women increase their presence and participation in the mosque. She could, for example, mention how numerous authentic traditions record that the Prophet Muhammad gave women universal support to go to the mosque:

Do not prevent the maid-servants of Allah from going to the mosque.

[Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 0886]

She could engage in a respectful dialogue with notable Imams, scholars and activists, work for grassroots change in her local community, and help establish the model mosque she seeks with their help or of her own volition. Unfortunately, Nomani thinks strong-arm bully tactics and shouting matches in the mosque are the way to go.

First, she travels to different communities to whom she does not belong and demands to violate their sacred spaces. Then, she makes a ruckus in the media to bring pressure on Muslim communities from society at large. That hasn’t worked, so now she wants the government to step in and tell Muslims how they should organize their prayer halls:

I understand the difficulties in having the state intervene in worship issues. I believe in a separation of church and state, but I’ve come to the difficult decision that women must use the legal system to restore rights in places of worship, particularly when intimidation is used to enforce unfair rules.

Unbelievable! One Christian author took the words right out of my mouth:

That is an almost comically irrational paragraph, and yet it ran in a column published in none other than USA Today. Nomani says that she “understand[s] the difficulties in having the state intervene in worship issues,” but shows no such understanding at all. Then, she writes that she “believe[s] in a separation of church and state,” but then she calls upon the coercive power of the state to force doctrinal change in places of worship. She cannot have it both ways…

I am not worried that IRS agents are about to descend on the nation’s churches, mosques, and synagogues to force a new government-endorsed theology on our places of worship. I am very concerned, however, that this kind of argument, left unaddressed, implies a power that the government does not and should not possess.

Undoubtedly what Nomani is asking for is prohibited by the U.S. Constitution’s, First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” She would open the floodgates of government intervention into the most private area of our lives, our places of worship, our sacred spaces, and threaten to raise our taxes if we didn’t worship in a manner consistent with her ideology (a curious double-violation of Tea Party ideology but nonetheless will probably receive a free pass from many on the Right because of the fact that Muslims are Nomani’s target).

She warns us that in mosques “intimidation is used to enforce unfair rules” but she has no problem using the long arm of the law to intimidate Muslims and force them to construct their prayer halls in line with Nomani’s ideology or else be crushed by burdening taxes.  So, Asra, how are you not also using intimidation “to enforce unfair rules?” Can anyone else see the double standard?

Don’t get me wrong. Freedom and women’s rights are very vital issues for Muslims to tackle, but not so much for Nomani. She seems far more interested in getting her uninformed and sensational views published than in helping the Muslim community from within.

How else can we understand her aggressive assault on our most basic American freedom?

Breaking: Herman Cain Is Suspicious of Muslims

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on July 18, 2011 by loonwatch

Cain should have stuck to making pizzas.

Breaking: Herman Cain Is Suspicious of Muslims

(New York Magazine)

Does Herman Cain know what a mosque is?

Herman Cain, it’s probably safe to say, has already peaked. For reasons that remain unclear, hewowed Republicans in the primary season’s first debate but was quickly forgotten when Michele Bachmann wowed Republicans in the second debate. His national polling average of 10.2 percent in late June has gradually dropped over the past couple of weeks to 6.5 percent, according to Real Clear Politics. His numbers have steadily declined in polling of the Iowa caucus as well, and some of his staff in Iowa and New Hampshirerecently abandoned ship. But Herman Cain does still have one card up his sleeve: More than any other candidate, he’s willing to say heinous, bigoted things about Muslims.

Cain has said he wouldn’t appoint a Muslim to any position within his administration because of fears that Muslims are trying to “gradually ease Sharia law and the Muslim faith into our government.” He later softened his position slightly, allowing for the potential hiring of Muslims that pass some kind of loyalty test that only Muslims have to take. And now Cain is speaking out against the never-ending controversy over a proposed Islamic center and mosque in Murfreesboro, Tennessee:

“It is an infringement and an abuse of our freedom of religion,” he said. “And I don’t agree with what’s happening, because this isn’t an innocent mosque.” ….

“It is another example of why I believe in American laws and American courts,” Cain said. “This is just another way to try to gradually sneak Shariah law into our laws, and I absolutely object to that.”

You read that correctly: Letting Muslims practice their religion is an infringement on our freedom of religion. Let that argument sink in for a second. Or don’t. It’s actually uncomfortably farcical.

Combating Religious Intolerance When Freedom of Speech Enables Hate Speech

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , on July 7, 2011 by loonwatch

We have been discussing this topic for a while now. We also addressed, Pamela Geller’s hate rallycancellation.

What must be affirmed is that freedom of speech and freedom of religion are compatible, and neither will be sacrificed to the bigots.

Combating Religious Intolerance When Freedom of Speech Enables Hate Speech

(Huffington Post) by John L. Esposito and Sheila B. Lalwani

Religious pluralism, versus the defamation of religion and freedom of speech have become an increasing source of conflict in international politics and interreligious relations. Preachers of hate and activists in America, Europe, and many Muslim countries are engaged in a culture war. Far right anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim political leaders and parties warn of the Islamization of America and Europe to garner votes. The acquittal on June 22, 2011 of Dutch politician Geert Wilders on charges of “inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims,” is a political victory for Wilders but also a sign of the times, growing normalization of anti-Islam bashing in the West.

The OIC (Organization of the Islamic Conference which represents some 57 countries) lobbied the United Nations for more than a decade to address this issue. Initially targeting Islamophobia, it broadened its request to a resolution on “defamation of religions” that would criminalize words and actions perceived as attacks against religion.

Opponents, in particular the U.S. and E.U., maintained that the resolution could also be used to restrict religious freedom and free speech, and foster religious intolerance and violence against religious minorities. Indeed, in recent years attacks against Christians and other religious minorities have risen in Egypt, Malaysia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Pakistan. These conflicts have varied from acts of discrimination to the bombing and burning of churches and murder.

Pakistan’s blasphemy law exemplifies the issue. In 2009 Asia Bibi, a Christian and 45-year-old mother of four was sentenced to death on charges of insulting Islam, a charge she strongly denied. The case sparked international outrage that was heightened in 2011 by the brutal assassination of Salman Taseer — the governor of Punjab and an outspoken critic of the blasphemy law, and the assassination of Pakistani Chief Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian and outspoken opponent of Pakistan’s blasphemy law.

The United Nations Human Rights Council recently ostensibly resolved the conflict over “Defamation of Religions.” After close discussions with the U.S. and E.U., Pakistan introduced a compromise resolution on behalf of the OIC, which addressed the concerns of both the OIC and those of member states and human rights organizations, including the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

The “Combating Discrimination and Violence” compromise resolution affirms individual rights, including the freedoms of expression and religion that are part-and-parcel of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. At the same time, the 47-member state body also called for strengthened international efforts to foster a global dialogue and the promotion of a culture of human rights, tolerance and mutual respect.

But will this U.N. resolution prove to be an effective tool in combating the rise of Islamophobia? A clear sign of the limits of the resolution can be seen in the stunning verdict in Geert Wilder’s acquittal. Wilders’ track record includes the charges that “Islam is a fascist ideology,” “Mohammed was a pedophile,” and “Islam and freedom, Islam and democracy are not compatible” and warnings of a “tsunami” of Muslim immigrants. Wilders’ “missionary” efforts have extended other parts of Europe to the US where his admirers refer to him as a “freedom fighter.” Plaintiffs had charged that Mr Wilders’ comments had incited hatred and led to a rise in discrimination and violence against Muslims. But Judge van Oosten ruled that although he found Wilders remarks “gross and denigrating”, they had not given rise to hatred. Spiegel Online’s headline of the acquittal read “Wilder’s Acquittal a ‘Slap in the Face for Muslims.’”

The exploitation of freedom of speech to promote religious intolerance emerged only days after the Wilders’ decision. Stop Islamisation of Europe (SIOE) and Stop Islamization of America (SIOA), a coalition of far right anti-Muslim European and American groups billing themselves as human rights organizations, had scheduled “United We Stand: First Transatlantic Anti-Islamization” in Strasbourg, France on July 2. On June 28, French and EU authorities’ cancelled the conference. In response, the Islamophobic cottage industry and their websites’ headlines blared: “Free in speech rally cancelled in Strasbourg over Muslim violence threats” and “Democracy Collapses in Europe: EU Cancels SIOA/SIOE Free Speech Rally.”

Freedom of speech is a precious right that must be guarded carefully. But what happens when that right is used to incite hatred and to feed religious intolerance, such as Islamophobia, that is spreading like a cancer across the United States and Europe? While some statements may not immediately be the direct cause of a specific act of violence, they spread seeds of intolerance and anger that lead to legitimizing and accepting acts of bigotry and hate, like the “Burn a Quran day” that took place in Florida, the desecration of mosques, physical attacks against Muslims including women and children. As a result, the public slowly becomes inured to Islamophobic actions and statements. At the same time, this ideology of hatred has a very real effect on the everyday life of Muslims and Arabs: issuing in verbal attacks from their community members, Islamophobic statements by political candidates, or law-enforcement policies that target Muslims and Arabs.

The issue of freedom of speech and the rights of hate groups is not new in American history. Even today, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic organizations are allowed to express their disdain for certain ethnic and religious groups, regardless of how distasteful their ideologies may be. However, their power to attack has greatly diminished and their words have become a social taboo in the public square because our country has created a social environment where racism and anti-Semitism are loudly condemned and discredited in public life and in media. Muslim Americans and Europeans are entitled to the same treatment, rights and protections.

Islamophobia and its impact, like racism and anti-Semitism, must be countered by creating a climate in which hate speech and discrimination in the public square are not tolerated even when bigots exploit freedom of speech. Today, one can engage in anti-Islam and anti-Muslim hate speech and threats in print, media, and protest rallies that promote a popular culture that paints the religion of Islam, not just terrorists, as a threat to America. These preachers of hate and Islamophobia must be rejected and marginalized. Their mission to polarize our society must not be allowed to threaten our belief that religious tolerance and free speech are indeed compatible.

Pamela Geller and Co. Waging a War Against Common Sense

Posted in Feature, Loon Blogs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 6, 2011 by loonwatch

Pamela Geller and her cronies are waging a personal war, and once again her line of target is the silent evil enemy: common sense.

Not content with spreading venom in the USA, Pam is now screaming that Europe has bowed to the shackles and chains of imperialist “Islamic supremacists,” after French and European authorities “cancelled” a Stop the Islamisation of America (SIOA) and Stop the Islamisation of Europe (SIOE)“freedom” rally, that aimed to protest outside the European Parliament, over “the Islamic takeover of Europe.”

As ridiculous as Pam’s event sounds I for one wouldn’t mind seeing Pam Geller and her friends make a fool of themselves, so was her rally really “cancelled?”

Yes, the European authorities seem to have annulled the Pam and co. rally, but is it in the context of “pro-Jihadism submission to Islamic Supremacism,” as the hate-mongers are claiming?

Let’s dissect the truth behind this “cancellation”:

Pam Geller’s Fascist Message and the Implications for Violence

Geller writes,

Democracy collapses in Europe: EU cancels SIOA/SIOE free speech rally — Freedom from jihad flotilla to launch on 9/11

STRASBOURG, FRANCE, June 28: In a capitulation to Islamic supremacists and violent radical Leftists, French and European Union authorities have canceled a free speech rally planned by a coalition of American and European human rights organizations in Strasbourg, the seat of the European Parliament. The human rights organizations Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) and Stop Islamisation of Europe (SIOE) were planning to hold their first-ever transatlantic summit in Strasbourg, France, on July 2.

The SIOA/SIOE summit was dedicated to the defense of the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, and the equality of rights of all people before the law – all principles denied by Islamic law.

The evidently responsible and comprehensible actions of the European and French authorities, who were prompted to cancel the potentially violent event, is now being used by Geller as proof of European and French authorities’ “support for Islamic terror and anti-Semitism.”

The authorities may have cancelled the event due to many factors. Firstly, an event justifying racism, fascism and bigotry towards a minority, Muslims in this case, is one big red flag! While some Americans may reflexively take exception to the cancellation of the rally on the grounds that it compromises “free speech,” here in Europe we take our practised laws of equality and freedom very seriously. Authorities have to balance “freedoms” and “rights” with the competing issues of “security,” “community harmony,” and defense against “hate speech” that incites violence, and so decisions to cancel rallies are taken very seriously.

Secondly, a main factor in the cancellation of the event seems to be the crowds that would flock and gather for the rally: neo-nazis, thugs, violent fringe groups, racists, and xenophobes masquerading as self-proclaimed ‘human rights’ activists. This event would have been a grave security threat to the people of Strasbourg, an event purely designed to deliberately provoke the liberals, Muslims and opposition groups and hence would be a breach of French and European law.

The Gellerists attempts in Europe give us pause, after all, Europe is home to one of the most inhuman crimes in history, the Holocaust, which was the result of propaganda, scapegoating and persecution. The rational expertise of the authorities recognised these signs, and sanctioned it in the appropriate manner. In this case, they have cancelled a palpable hate rally that had the potential to turn violent.

Human Rights and Muslim Takeover in the Bizzare-o World of Pamela Geller

The atypical, and apocryphal view of Geller’s interpretation on the meaning and definition of ‘human rights’ is comical. She calls for an international deployment to “defend the rights of man,” when she herself is partaking in an epic act of human oppression:

“The SIOA/SIOE Freedom From Jihad aid flotilla,” Geller explained, “is intended to be a direct response to the capitulation of French, European, and American authorities to Leftist and Islamic supremacist forces of oppression and injustice. It is set to launch after our national Rally for Freedom at Ground Zero on the tenth anniversary of the Islamic jihad attacks that murdered three thousand Americans.”

The “Freedom from Jihad aid flotilla,” is obviously a mock-term employed by Geller to demean theGaza Freedom Flotillas, which she derisively describes as “Jihad flotillas.” Geller dare not admit that Gaza has been and is in need of desperate aid due to the inhumane and oppressive blockade instituted by the Apartheid state of Israel because, well…you know, Israel is sugar and spice and everything nice!!

Let us analyze the facts here. It is estimated that 857 million people are citizens in Europe, and 58 million Muslims in Europe, 14 million of these numbers directly living under the European Union, including those who have converted to the religion of Islam. Where is the indication that Islam is in a takeover of Europe, when the numbers of non-Muslims to Muslims ratio is incomparable and far greater. This is a tool of hysteria and sensationalism on the part of Pam Geller, to insert misinformation to promote a repugnant agenda.

Another important point to note here is that Geller, on the mention of the tragedy of 9/11, conveniently makes no mention of the numerous Muslim victims that died on 9/11, who also were equally victims of such a heinous crime. The lack of acknowledgement of those Muslim deaths, only reiterates her pure uncompromising hatred of Muslims.

The SIOA Freedom From Jihad Flotilla will call upon the international community to act in defense of these basic human rights:
The freedom of speech – as opposed to Islamic prohibitions of “blasphemy” and “slander,” which are used effectively to quash honest discussion of jihad and Islamic supremacism;The freedom of conscience – as opposed to the Islamic death penalty for apostasy;The equality of rights of all people before the law – as opposed to Sharia’s institutionalized discrimination against women and non-Muslims. The Flotilla will call upon all free people of all races and creeds to stand with us to defend our freedoms against the radically intolerant ideology codified in Islamic law.

Geller wants to galvanize the globe to fight 12th century medieval law books that are not applied in the Muslim world, and are particularly irrelevant in light of the Arab Spring. Geller has a condensed and inept understanding of the term “Human Rights,” one which is limited in scope, and only applies to her circle of hate and dogmatism. According to her human rights apply to everyone –except Muslims. That is not human rights, it’s the selected persecution of a minority group, which in-turn presents this whole so called ‘freedom from jihad’ flotilla as nothing more than an opportunity to channel Islamophobic extremism from the right of the spectrum. There are no two ways about this issue.

Geller and co. have a very idiosyncratic strategy to illuminate the principles of ‘violence’ and ‘hatred’ in Islam. In order to combat and deplete the notion of Islamist extremism and hatred, the Gellerists have adopted the very same model of intolerance and prejudice, in order to stamp out the very elements they oppose. What a paradoxical stance, where two wrongs never will make a right. In what parallel universe would such an absurd theory make any sense? Only in the world of Pamela Geller.

Should Canada ban Islamic face veils?

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 11, 2011 by loonwatch

I hope more and more women protest for their freedom of religion. Has anyone thought that maybe it isn’t face veils that are oppressive but the laws themselves that try to restrain people from practicing their religious beliefs?

On the heels of the French ban it looks like Canada may follow suit.  The piece below unfortunately cites the Muslim Canadian Congress, an organization founded by the loon Tarek Fateh, which has near no credibility amongst Canadian Muslims.

Should Canada ban Islamic face veils?

by: Wency Leung

France’s ban on Islamic face veils came into force today, and already, at least two veiled women have reportedly been detained for protesting the new law.

The ban, which carries a fine of 150 euros ($207), has reignited the debate over where to draw the line between protecting a nation’s values and ensuring individuals’ freedom of expression.

Those supporting the ban say the veils oppress women and don’t fall in line with the country’s values of gender equality. Under France’s new law, anyone who forces women to wear a veil can face up to a year in prison and a fine 30,000 of euros.

But others, including some women who wear the veils themselves, believe the ban infringes on their freedom of religion and smacks of anti-Islamic sentiment.

In Canada, calls to introduce a similar ban have also prompted heated debate. For years, the Muslim Canadian Congress has urged for an end to the practice of wearing face-concealing niqabs and burkas, arguing the veils aren’t required under Islam, but are rather symbols of religious extremism and misogyny.

Canadian women who say they choose to wear the veils, however, argue that far from oppressing them, the face coverings guard their modesty.

Here, as in France, those who actually wear the veils are few.

Should Canada consider following France’s lead? Or would doing so put unfair restrictions on a minority?

GOP Presidential Candidate “Resents” Muslim-Americans

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on March 25, 2011 by loonwatch

GOP Presidential Candidate Herman Cain says that he “resents” when Muslims try to convert other people to Islam. In an interview with Christianity Today, Cain said:

The role of Muslims in American society is for them to be allowed to practice their religion freely, which is part of our First Amendment. The role of Muslims in America is not to convert the rest of us to the Muslim religion. That I resent. Because we are a Judeo-Christian nation, from the fact that 85 percent of us are self-described Christians, or evangelicals, or practicing the Jewish faith. Eighty-five percent. One percent of the practicing religious believers in this country are Muslim.

And so I push back and reject them trying to convert the rest of us…

I find this hilariously ironic, because Mr. Cain is, himself, an associate minister at Antioch Baptist Church North in Atlanta. If you look on the front page of the Church’s website it says: “Fellowship.EVANGELISM. Doctrine. Stewardship.” [Emphasis mine].

What is the definition of evangelism?

The preaching or promulgation of the gospel;

In other words, trying to convert other people to the Christian faith. Indeed, that is one of the main missions of Evangelical Christianity. So, according to Mr. Cain, who is considering a run for the Presidency in 2012, Christians can try to convert other people, but Muslims need not apply. In fact, he will “push back and reject” any sort of Muslim evangelizing, because that is “not their role” in American society.

One would scratch their head in utter amazement at the hypocrisy of this man, but when one reads the interview, it is not surprising why he would have such a view. Mr. Cain himself admitted he had little knowledge about Islam, but it did not stop him from making sweeping judgments and stereotypes:

And based upon the little knowledge that I have of the Muslim religion, you know, they have an objective to convert all infidels or kill them.

Well, then, it makes sense that he would “resent” Muslim evangelism. In fact, it is patriotic of him to do so! Of course, Christians have never converted people under threat of death…(cough)…The Inquisition…(cough).

What’s more, he doesn’t even try to hide his bias against Muslims. He recounts his story battling cancer, and he said that when he found out his surgeon’s name was Dr. Abdallah (a presumptive Muslim), he was uncomfortable. When he was told, “Don’t worry, he’s a Christian,” Cain says, “he felt a whole lot better.” Wow.

Apparently, in the eyes of Herman Cain, all Americans are equal:

People use the race card, they use the class warfare card, to divide us. And the biggest challenge we face is for more and more people to be educated and not fall for those tricks and divide this nation. Do people still discriminate in some small ways against certain people because of their color or their religion? Yes. But it is nowhere near where it was 235 years ago.

It seems that Cain is trying to say that a little discrimination is OK.

When it comes to Muslims, some Americans are just more equal than others…

Addendum I:

If any Muslim candidate had said this about Jews, his career would be over faster than he could scarf down a halal beef-pretending-to-be-pepperoni pizza.  And rightfully so.  Yet, Cain says these statements with relative impunity.  Contrast this lack of reaction from the public to the hysteria that surrounded Alexandra Wallace, the UCLA girl who ranted against Asians in the library.  It’s strange that a random YouTube girl gets her academic career destroyed by such comments, whereas Cain’s political career is not over even though his comments were even more odious than hers…and even though he–unlike Ms. Wallace–never apologized for them.  He didn’t need to apologize because the public never demanded him to.  Truly, prejudice against Muslims and Arabs is the last socially acceptable form of bigotry in America.